Readers, Yuma County hit a milestone that we hoped we would not: 1,000 deaths in Yuma County due to COVID-19.

In fact, we’ve actually surpassed the milestone, reaching 1,010 deaths here since the start of the pandemic.

When looking at the statistics, 652 of these deaths were people ages 65 and older, followed by 197 people ages 55-64, 97 people ages 45-54, and 62 people ages 20-44.

Males have been hit harder, with 62% of the deaths vs. 38% for women.

But statistics only tell part of the story, just a fraction of the loss.

The numbers don’t reflect the fact that these 1,010 deaths were people who once were a part of our community.

They were sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. And today, the loved ones of 1,010 people are aching with their absences, their families forever impacted.

It’s easy to forget the faces behind the numbers, but readers, every one of those “statistics” meant something to someone in our community.

That statistic is the worst to report, but it’s not the only bad news on the COVID front in Yuma County.

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 46,958 cases of COVID-19 here – and that number continues to climb as well, with another 325 new cases reported today alone. Our numbers over the previous three days were just as grim: 320 new cases on Saturday, 298 new cases on Sunday and 292 new cases on Monday.

We’re traveling in the wrong direction, readers.

But at the same time, there are also some bright points to report.

In Yuma County, 70.9% of our residents are vaccinated. And if you drill down a bit further to look at the percentage of eligible people vaccinated, our rate climbs to 76.4% - which is great news.

However, with an ongoing surge in cases and an ever-evolving list of COVID variants, we have to continue to be vigilant.

Our goal moving forward remains the same: to keep our population in Yuma County as healthy as possible. Wash your hands, keep space around you, and wear your masks, readers. Let’s bring the latest surge back under control, and keep these statistics from rising any further.

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